How much notice should you get if you’re fired?

One of the most frequent type of “BTW, since you’re a lawyer” questions I get is about notice when someone gets fired.

It’s not exactly the most difficult question, although like anything in law, there’s a simple answer and a complicated one.

The simple answer, for Quebec, according to the Labour Standards Act (LSA), can be found in the table below, also available on the CNESST website:

Length of uninterrupted service Notice
3 months to one year One week
1 to 5 years 2 weeks
5 to 10 years 4 weeks
10 years or more 8 week

The complicated answer takes into account things like:

  • whether your employer is under federal or provincial jurisdiction (the Labour Standards Act only applies to employers under provincial jurisdiction, which excludes banks, for example, but not the Caisses Populaire Desjardins)
  • what position you held (the notices in the LSA doesn’t apply to upper management)
  • whether you were unionized
  • what kind of work you were doing (there is a quite technical list of excluded workers)
  • whether any other exception applies

to determine that you should have at least X weeks of notice, but maybe more, it’s hard to tell…

At any rate, I’ve made a flowchart that’s somewhere between the easy answer and the complicated one, which should cover most of the situations out there…

Flowchart showing the length of notice an employee should get in case of dismissal.

What’s a Family Patrimony?

Every married couple in Quebec has a family patrimony.

What it is doesn’t really matter until they divorce.

The infographic below tells you what goes in a family patrimony, and how you calculate its value when you divorce.

Please note that the whole section on the Family Patrimony in the Civil Code of Québec is much longer, and this infographic only shows a small portion of it.

You can read the actual text of the law here: Quebec Civil Code, articles 414 to 418.

Infographic on the rules of family patrimoniy division in Quebec law

New diagrams: confinement & psych evaluations

English follows.

La section sur la garde en établissement et les évaluations psychiatriques s’appliquent dans le cas où une personne (habituallement majeure) est emmenée dans un établissement pour y recevoir des soins psychiatriques, malgré son désaccord. Pour la protection du patient et du public, le code civil va permettre, sous certaines conditions, à l’établissement de garder le patient, même contre son gré.

Pour ce faire, le patient doit représenter un danger pour lui-même ou pour autrui. Une garde préventie est permise si le danger est grave et imminent, mais l’autorisation du tribunal sera nécessaire pour lui faire subir un examen psychiatrique.

Les articles 26 à 31 prévoient les règles relatives à la garde, à l’examen, ainsi qu’aux rapports d’évaluation psychiatriques. Ci-dessous, la version réarrangée.


The section on confinement and psych evaluations applies when a person (usually of full age) is brought into a institution to receive psychiatric care, in spite of his opposition. To protect the patient and the public, the Civil code will allow, under certain conditions, the institution to keep the patient, even against his will.

To do so, the patient must be a danger to himself or others. Preventive confinement is permitted if the danger is serious and imminent, but authorisation of the court will be necessary to make him undergo a psychiatric assessment.

Articles 26 to 31 sets out the rules applicable to confinement, assessment, and psych assessment reports. Below is the re-arranged version.

New diagrams: organ donations and experiments

(English follows)

Deux nouveaux diagrammes aujourd’hui, pour compléter la section sur les soins: les articles 19 à 25, traitant du consentement à l’aliénation d’organes, et à une expérimentation médicale. Ces articles indiquent les cas où il est permis ou interdit de faire un don d’organes ou de subir, ou faire subir, une expérimentation à un patient.

En général, la loi donne libre choix à un majeur pour consentir, mais s’assure de protéger les mineurs ou les personnes inapes à consentir.

Ci-dessous, les articles réarrangés. Dans la colonne de gauche, les règles concernant de droit d’aliéner ou de soumettre quelqu’un à une expérimentation, et dans la colonne de droite, les modalités d’exercice de ces droits.

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Two new diagrams today to complete the section on Care: articles 19 to 25, related to consent to alienation of organs (organ donation) and to undergo a medical experiment. These articles specify cases where it is permitted or forbidden to donate an organ, or to take part in, or force someone to take part in an experiment.

In general, the law allows the patient of full age freedom to choose what to do with his/her body, but makes sure to protect minors and those unable to consent.

Image below are the same articles rearranged. In the left column are the rules concerning the right to alienate or experiment, and the column on the right contain rules on the conditions governing the exercise of the rights.

First diagrams: successions

The first set of diagrams have just been posted, and can be found here: Order of devolution of successions.

This chapter in the Code deals with the distribution of a deceased’s assets in the absence of a will. This section is especially interesting to visualise, as the rules follow a strict logic, but are written in an awkward way.

We have two flowchart diagrams. The first one is a straightforward flowchart that respects the articles’ sequence and the structure of each article. The 2nd one is a digested version. If you analyse the chapter, you see 3 types of articles: definitions, rules about the proportion which groups of relatives inherit, and rules about how much each individual inherits.

The 2nd flowchart has definitions removed, and the 2 columns separate rules for groups of relatives and rules for individuals.

We have also made 3 other simple infographics based on the rules in this chapter.

Diagram representing the members of different groups of relatives defined in the Code.

Venn diagram showing share by group of surviving relative. Note: descendants have priority, so apply the other circles only if there are no descendants.

Simple version of the above diagram.